Women's childbirth experiences in the Swedish Post-term Induction Study (SWEPIS): a multicentre, randomised, controlled trial

BMJ Open. 2021 Apr 7;11(4):e042340. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-042340.


Objective: To compare childbirth experiences in women randomly assigned to either induction of labour at 41 weeks or to expectant management until 42 weeks, in the Swedish Post-term Induction Study.

Design: A register-based, multicentre, randomised, controlled, superiority trial.

Setting: Women were recruited at 14 hospitals in Sweden, 2016-2018.

Participants: Women with an uncomplicated singleton pregnancy were recruited at 41 gestational weeks.

Interventions: The women were randomly assigned to induction of labour at 41 weeks (induction group, n=1381) or expectant management until 42 weeks (expectant management group, n=1379).

Outcome measures: As main outcome, women's childbirth experiences were measured using the Childbirth Experience Questionnaire version 2 (CEQ2), in 656 women, 3 months after the birth at three hospitals. As exploratory outcome, overall childbirth experience was measured in 1457 women using a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS 1-10) within 3 days after delivery at the remaining eleven hospitals.

Results: The total response rate was 77% (2113/2760). There were no significant differences in childbirth experience measured with CEQ2 between the groups (induction group, n=354; expectant management group, n=302) in the subscales: own capacity (2.8 vs 2.7, p=0.09), perceived safety (3.3 vs 3.2, p=0.06) and professional support (3.6 vs 3.5, p=0.38) or in the total CEQ2 score (3.3 vs 3.2, p=0.07), respectively. Women in the induction group scored higher in the subscale participation (3.6 vs 3.4, p=0.02), although with a small effect size (0.19). No significant difference was observed in overall childbirth experience according to VAS (8.0 (n=735) vs 8.1 (n=735), p=0.22).

Conclusions: There were no differences in childbirth experience, according to CEQ2 or overall childbirth experience assessed with VAS, between women randomly assigned to induction of labour at 41 weeks or expectant management until 42 weeks. Overall, women rated their childbirth experiences high.

Trial registration number: ISRCTN26113652.

Keywords: maternal medicine; obstetrics; reproductive medicine.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Labor, Induced
  • Labor, Obstetric*
  • Parturition
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden

Associated data

  • ISRCTN/ISRCTN26113652